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How To Start A Diet: The 4 Steps
by JohnMc

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You know you want to lose weight so you feel better physically and mentally, but you don't quite know how to put a plan in action.

Relax. It's time to stop stressing and to start losing.

Like any project in life, you need a workable game plan to lose weight and keep it off. But before you even draw up your plan, you need to be in the right frame of mind.

A good friend of mine, who happens to be a top weight loss psychologist, is fond of saying: "You can't change your weight until you change your mind."

What he means by that is you are more likely to stumble and fall if your mind isn't totally wrapped around a healthy new lifestyle -- the kind of lifestyle needed to lose weight and improve your health.

Here are the four steps to starting a diet that will work for you:

1. Take a pledge.
This pledge can be something as simple as a written note, signed by you and stating "I WILL lose weight this time and I WILL feel better. I am doing this because I want to ________ (fill in the blank with as many reasons as you can think of). And I WILL lose the weight in a safe manner. My starting weight is _______; by _________, I will drop _____ pounds. My goal weight is ________ and I WILL reach it by ___________."

Write up a pledge like this, keeping it positive and specific. There's nothing that spells dieting doom than an open-ended dictate such as "I want to lose weight."

Post your Pledge on the fridge or bathroom mirror so you will se it several times a day. It helps reinforce what you are doing... and why!

2. House cleaning.
No, we're not talking about dusting and vacuuming. We're talking about going through your pantry, fridge and cupboards and tossing the packaged goods that do no good to your body or weight. Fresh fruits and veggies can stay; so too can the junk-free yogurts and cheeses. All high-sugar, high-sodium treats and snacks -- the kinds with hydrogenated oils -- must go!

3. The write stuff.
Start a food journal and keep track of every bite you eat. Thinking you are too old or too busy to keep a diary? Think again. A recent study showed that dieters who kept track of their food lost twice the weight as those who didn't. Write on, slimmer!

4. Seek out support.
When it comes to effective weight loss, you shouldn't go it alone. There is safety in numbers. And it sure helps to have someone to turn to when those cravings rear their ugly head... and they will. Where to turn for support? Friends and family members are good first choices. So too are co-workers and members of your church or civic organizations you might belong to. We can't say enough about online support... support like that found right here at Diet.com.

Follow this advice and you've set yourself to have a fighting chance at weight loss.

You can make the process even easier by linking up with Diet.com, your source for dieting and nutrition solutions.

Diet.com has everything you need for successful weight loss. And we are available whenever you need support or advice, 24/7.

We even offer a totally free membership to help get you started on the road to wellness.

To see what our free membership entails -- and to compare it to what our paid Premium Membership offers -- click here now.

September 3, 2008

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Lose Weight And Eat Well... On $6 A Day!
by JohnMc

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Michael Ozner is a renowned cardiologist and a diet expert. In other words, he is a perfect fit for the Diet.com audience of overweight men and women who are at risk of heart disease. Please see what he has to say about eating well and saving money during a time of rising weight and rising prices.

Special for Diet.com
by Michael Ozner, M.D.


Government figures show that we're in the midst of the worst case of food inflation since the 1990s. During these tough economic times, it's possible to eat delicious home-cooked meals that not only save you a bundle of money, but help you live longer and lose up to 8 pounds a week!

It costs a lot less to eat three meals a day at home than to dine out -- even at cheap, fast-food restaurants. What's more, these scrumptious meals are satisfying, help you trim down without trying, and have been shown to prevent a host of illnesses and diseases. What's not to love?

Here are some daily menu ideas from my book, The Miami Mediterranean Diet, along with an approximate per-serving cost, to show how you can feed yourself all day long for less than one trip to a typical fast-food joint.

4 Breakfast Ideas
Oatmeal with raisins and almonds, $.25/serving
Wheat toast with chunky peanut butter and honey, $.25/serving
Cheesy Apple Raisin Cinnamon Omelet (p. 123), $.75/serving
Broccoli and Cheese Frittata (p. 128), $.80/serving
Serve any of the above with one fresh fruit (e.g., orange, apple, banana, pear), $.50/each

4 Sample Lunch Ideas
Savory Mediterranean Chickpea Soup (p. 91), $1.25/serving
Pizza Margherita (p. 109), $1.00/serving
Veggie Wrap (p. 215), $1.10/serving
Smoked Fish and Roasted Pepper Sandwich (p. 221), $1.00/serving
Serve any of the above with a vegetable salad or fruit salad, $.75/serving

4 Sample Dinner Entrees
Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce (p. 175), $2.25/serving
Shrimp in Spicy Black Bean Sauce (p. 178), $2.50/serving
Pasta with Red Clam Sauce (p. 170), $2.40/serving
Florentine Roasted Pork (p. 174), $2.50/serving

4 Sample Dinner Side Dishes
Greek Rice (p. 185), $1.35/serving
Broccoli with Fresh Garlic (p. 188), $1.25/serving
Sautéed Vegetables with Fresh Thyme (p. 199), $1.20/serving
Spicy Couscous (p. 198), $.90/serving

4 Sample Desserts
Yogurt Nut Cake (p. 236), $.75/serving
Sweet Mango Mousse (p. 237), $1.35/serving
Sweet Italian Rice Pudding (p. 240), $.85/serving
Crème de Banana Baked Apples (p. 241), $1.00/serving

Michael Ozner, MD, is a nationally known cardiologist and author of The Miami Mediterranean Diet: Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease (BenBella Books, 2008). He is medical director at the Center for Prevention and Wellness, Baptist Health South Florida, and medical director for the Cardiovascular Prevention Institute of South Florida. Find out more about him at www.cardiacoz.com.

July 7, 2008

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How Much Protein & Best Sources
by ShaunaS

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In my previous blogs, we learned all about carbohydrates and fats – what they are and how to separate the “good” from the “bad”. Well, now we’re ready to move on to protein.

Most of us know all about protein from the recent hype on high protein diets, however, do you really know why protein is important, where to find healthy sources and how much you need? This blog will focus on getting to know this essential nutrient along with healthy sources and serving sizes.

What is protein?

• Along with carbohydrates and fat, protein is an essential nutrient.

• Protein is built out of building blocks called amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids, however, most protein foods are built out of branches and chains of several amino acids. Out of the 20 amino acids, eight are essential, meaning the body can’t produce them and must obtain them from food sources.

• Protein sources can be classified into complete or high quality protein or incomplete and lesser quality protein. The type and amount of amino acids determine how well they will be used by the body for building, etc.

• Complete proteins contain al eight essential amino acids. Animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs are sources of complete protein. Soy products such as tofu and soymilk, are also a source of complete protein.

• Plant foods such as grains, beans, nuts and vegetables are incomplete proteins, they may be lacking one or more essential amino acids or lacking an adequate amount of essential amino acids. It used to be believed that you had to combine incomplete proteins at a meal (such as beans and rice) to make a complete protein, but now we know that it was what you eat over the day that matters. If you eat a variety of plant foods over the day, you will get enough complete proteins.

Why do you need protein?

Protein serves as a building block for muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood as well as hormones, vitamins and enzymes.

Protein-rich sources are a good source of B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium.

Protein helps keep your immune system strong.

Protein when combined with carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fat helps keep you satiated longer.

A protein containing meal after endurance activities and help with the repair of muscles.

How much do I need?

Most Americans get enough protein, however, they do not vary their choices enough. Try to include a variety of animal and plant protein sources in your diet. If you are vegetarian, you can still get enough protein from plant sources.

The Institute of Medicine recommends 10-35% of your calories come from protein. Diet.com meal plans average 20-25% of calories from protein. If you are following a 1200 calorie diet, this is equal to 60-75 g per day and 75-94 g per day for a 1,500 calorie diet.

Protein needs may vary depending on your health. For example, poorly controlled diabetes and kidney disease warrant less protein in the diet. Always check with your health care provider if you have diabetes or kidney disease.

An easy way to make sure you are getting enough protein is to aim for 5-6 ounces of meat or meat equivalents each day. Three ounces looks like a deck of cards.

What are healthy sources and serving sizes?

1 ounce of protein is equivalent to 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, 1/4 cup cooked beans, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 oz nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup tuna, 1/4 cup tofu.

Healthy sources include chicken or turkey breast, lean ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, fish and shellfish, beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts (eat in moderation), pork tenderloin, flank steak, round or sirloin. Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are also good sources of protein.

~RDShauna

To get a weight loss plan perfectly catered to your personal needs, click here and becomes a Diet.com Premium member!

June 6, 2008

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